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Philby Burgess & Maclean [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Anthony Bate , Derek Jacobi , Gordon Flemyng    DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.

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Product details

  • Actors: Anthony Bate, Derek Jacobi, Michael Culver, Bernard Archard, Barrie Cookson
  • Directors: Gordon Flemyng
  • Writers: Ian Curteis
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Koch Vision
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Jan 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,832 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Remember this way back in 1977 20 July 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Still very powerful and good acting, even though the Cold War is over the tension at the time looking back was intense
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Old Crew 5 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A forerunner to the Cambridge Spies tv series. It boasts some wonderful acting from all three protagonists. Derek Jacobi is wonderfully gross as Maclean.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.1 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cambridge Spies: The After-School Special! 3 Feb 2008
By F. S. L'hoir - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This 1977 biopic, which was advised by Phillip Knightley, cannot be faulted for distortion of the known facts of the case, although they are so compressed that they seem to have been forced into a telescope backwards. It can, however, be faulted for its egregiously shoddy production values. The entire enterprise, in fact, reminds me of one of those dreadful after-school specials that they used to have on TV, in which the producers were flogging some topical issue such as the dangers of teen promiscuity or substance abuse (in this case, the dangers of Soviet espionage). As with the teen specials, the leading actors (Anthony Bate as Philby, and Derek Jacobi as Burgess) are excellent, but the story itself is merely a recitation of events, with no pace, no buildup of suspense. Furthermore, the quality of the DVD itself [which seems to have been pirated off a VHS tape] with its flickering lighting, and over-saturated dark colors that disintegrate into rainbow blobs, is ghastly. Even the introduction theme, with its long shadows on red cobblestones, lamp post, rolling soccer ball and bulldog (One supposes that they are meant to represent England under the communist threat.), looks both dated and amateurish. One finds better visuals on computer games. And the music with its wheezy out-of-tune canned saxophones--or whatever they are--is quite opprobrious. This DVD is recommended only for those who are addicted to the topic of the Cambridge Spies.

And even we have our limits!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior TV 16 Jan 2008
By David F. Evans - Published on
This is a real gem, and a superior production to either the glibly superficial 'Cambridge Spies' or the slightly silly 'Another Country', two historical dramas that centre roughly around the same events. The acting is superb, the Ian Curteis script taut, the build-up and motivation believable. Antony Bate bares an almost uncanny resemblance to the real Philby, Derek Jacobi is suitable disheveled as Guy Burgess, and the best scene belongs to Micheal Culver as McLean losing it in the men's room of the Egyptian embassy. As a piece of TV drama it has rarely been equaled, although it is slightly dated, and remains a benchmark of how this sort of make historical drama should be made (in my humble opinion). I'm really glad this has been released to DVD. Hopefully, 'An Englishman Abroad', Alan Bennet's brilliant screenplay with Alan Bates as Guy Burgess will at last make it to DVD format as well.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long on talent, short on technology 11 Mar 2008
By L. Bissett - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
While the scrpt and performances in Philby, Burgess and Maclean are excellent, the quality of the DVD recording itself leaves much to be desired. Still, if you are interested in (a) spies, (b) the cold war, (c) nuclear secrets or (d) all of the above, this is a good movie to add to your collection.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous acting; bad history. 10 Jan 2008
By Frank R. Sledge - Published on
"Philby, Burgess, and MacLean" dates from 1977. On the good side, we are treated to wonderful early performances by superb actors such as (Sir) Anthony Bate and (Sir) Derek Jacobi, who would go on to star in "I, Claudius". Their technique is mesmerizing. On the negative side, this film tends to gloss over the truly sordid side of MacLean and Burgess (their love affair and Burgess's near-incoherence from drinking.) Worst of all, of course, is that in 1977, it was not yet known that royal art historian Sir Anthony Blunt ("Master of the Queen's Pictures") had been the mastermind behind the entire espionage group, and he was caught but never prosecuted. A far better historical treatment would be the more recent "The Cambridge Spies" (available on Amazon, and starring the equally superb Samuel West as Blunt.) Do yourself a favor; get both. You'll want them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather dreadful DVD. 21 Sep 2012
By E. Borgman - Published on
This is a review of the production and the quality of the DVD. Firstly, the screenplay comes off with an almost sympathetic view of the main characters, one even lamenting that there was no turning back, as if he had just made a simple error when young and now he had to continue through with it. The acting was okay and the homosexuality of some of the characters was acknowledged. I can't say how accurrate the storyline was, but it did seem a rather truncated version for what apparently went on.

The quality of the DVD was very bad. It was very cheaply transfered and it shows. The image was rather muddy and looked poorly as a whole, but when areas of the frame became dark the picture would go haywire and turn green and pixelated. Needless to say that this poor image quality definately takes away from viewing pleasure.
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